(CNN Spanish) – After a year of absence due to the covid-19 pandemic, Google I / O 2021 returned on May 18 with several announcements, such as the Android 12 Beta, improvements to Google Maps, new privacy and security controls, a strategic alliance with Samsung, and much more.
This year’s Google Developer Conference is fully virtual and freely accessible. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet Inc., welcomed from the offices in Mountain View, but before starting the wave of software and hardware announcements, the executive mentioned that, although several countries are already returning to normal, countries like Brazil and India, which is their hometown, are going through the most difficult time of the pandemic.
“We are thinking of you and looking forward to better days ahead,” Pichai said before mentioning a few initiatives to help in the fight against covid-19But he indicated “the most fundamental way we help is by providing access to high-quality information.”
Here we tell you everything that Google presented during Google I / O 2021.
A more personalized Android 12
Google introduced Android 12, a new version of its operating system that, according to the company, is used by more than 3 billion people around the world.
This year, the Mountain View company presented Material You, the new Android 12 design concept that, according to Google, has the user as a co-creator, allowing them to transform the appearance of all their applications through the custom generation of new color palettes. «We can delight all styles. A new design that can flex all screens and adapt to all designs ”, said Matías Duarte, vice president of design for Google, during the virtual presentation.
Starting with Pixel devices, the user will be able to choose a wallpaper and Android 12 will automatically determine “which colors are dominant, which are complementary, and which just look great” and then apply all these colors to the operating system.
Android 12 also incorporated visual changes to the interface, adding animations and made navigation more fluid and efficient, while improving the energy efficiency of its operating system.
The new version of Google’s operating system also includes new features that give the user more transparency about the use of their data, while giving them more control to keep them informed about the amount of private information that their applications can access. Among the most significant changes are:
- A new indicator on the screen that informs the user when their applications are accessing the microphone or camera.
- New location permissions, so that some applications only have access to the approximate location of the user and not their precise location.
For now, Android 12 is only available to download in its beta version for developers, and as its name indicates, this is a version intended for developers so it may contain flaws or bugs, and damage your device.
New features come to Google Maps
Google released new updates to its navigation platform, Google Maps, which has more than 1 billion monthly users, according to the company.
Among the novelties presented during Google I / O 2021 is the possibility of accessing Live View – a tool that allows you to see arrows and directions – directly on Maps and see information about the establishments around you, including how busy they are, their hours, reviews and photos. Later this year, Live View will add road signs and tell you where you are in relation to places like your hotel or tourist and historical places. It will also work within airports and shopping centers.
Google also claimed to have created the more detailed version of Maps, as it is now possible to see crosswalks and sidewalks, as well as the shape and width of streets. Google expects to launch the detailed maps feature in 50 countries by the end of the year.
In the coming weeks you’ll see more relevant places when you open your map.
– Google Maps (@googlemaps) May 18, 2021
The navigation app shows how busy an area is, in order to avoid crowds, and also highlights the most relevant information exactly when the user needs it. For example, on a Monday morning it will show you the coffee shops around you and in the afternoon it will show you the restaurants that you might like.
New security and privacy settings
Google introduced a host of new privacy and security controls, such as the “quick delete” tool that removes the last 15 minutes of search history and the locked folder feature for Google Photos, a password-protected space where photos can be saved. separately.
Regarding password management, Google will offer users automatic enrollment for two-step verification. Regarding its Password Manager – a tool that remembers, saves and auto-completes passwords on the web – Google announced the following changes:
- Better integration with Chrome and Android to autofill passwords on sites and apps regardless of device.
- Password alerts to warn the user when the security of a saved password has been compromised.
- The option to easily change a password from Google Assistant.
Chrome on Android will help users change their passwords with a simple click. For example, when Chrome finds a password that may have been compromised, you will see a “Change Password” button from your Assistant.
During Google I / O 2021, the tech giant will also introduced the cinematic moments, a technology that creates vivid and moving images – similar to the concept behind the Live images from My Heritage-, and the creation of a unified platform with Samsung, to offer users a new and better Wear OS experience, which will bring important changes for Samsung and Fitbit wearable devices.